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If you love kids, you will have fun at Kids Duo even without teaching experience!

A diverse educational organization, YARUKI Switch Group
YARUKI Switch Group has more than 1,700 schools throughout Japan and is expanding to the world. With a track record stretching 40 years in teaching, nurturing, and opening up a future for children, they aim to be a general education group that caters to a diverse range of students.

In this interview, we asked one of their Kids Duo teachers about why they chose to work at YARUKI Switch Group and what kind of candidates they are looking for.

Teacher Tran,
Coming from Melbourne, Australia, she has been in Tokyo for about three years. She worked as an accountant and her hobby was circus art. Together with her husband she fell in love with the Japanese culture and after visiting Japan about 6 times, they decided to stay here long-term. She is currently working as a teacher at “Kids Duo”, one of the YARUKI Switch Group brands and is truly enjoying her work.
Becoming a part of Yaruki Switch Group:Fun, Friendly, Flexible

― What made you want to teach in Japan? When we first moved to Tokyo with my husband about three years ago, I could see Kids Duo from my balcony. I was looking for positions that did not require any Japanese skills, but I knew that I did not want to teach adults. Seeing the Kids Duo every day, it looked like a really fun place so I decided to become an English teacher for kids.

― Did you have any previous experience teaching? Only a little bit. I did circus art as my hobby back in Australia and even became a trainer, so I would teach others how to do circus skills. Occasionally, I also taught kids some basic gymnastics skills, like rolling, balancing or cartwheels. I only had minimal amount of experience teaching kids before joining Yaruki Switch Group. However, the training was really comprehensive and we were given a strong foundation, including specific skills that we can use in class.

― How was your job interview with Yaruki Switch Group? Yaruki Switch Group members were really friendly and nice. I originally applied for a position at another Yaruki Switch Group brand - WinBe. (We will be introducing WinBe in a new article soon!) However, the hiring professionals at the Yaruki Switch Group thought that my personality would match better with Kids Duo. It was great that they actually tried to get to know me and were able to make this very flexible decision and I am glad that we made it!

Kids Duo:“Play in English, Learn in English!”

― What is your day-to-day work like? We have about an hour prep time in the morning and after that we have our lunch break. After lunch break, we start organizing snacks for the kids and finish other administration tasks. The kids start coming in at about 2:30PM. A bilingual member will sometimes pick up the kids from school. After they arrive, we have our kindergarten and elementary classes.

During the classes we have various activities such as “Fun with the teacher”, show and tell, phonics, P.E., vocabulary class or circle time with snack-time and bathroom breaks in-between.
We also have presentation time, so the kids can not only learn English but also improve their social skills. They can practice in front of their friends and start getting used to standing up and talking in front of other people.
For the elementary class we have project time during which we practice the four C-skills (Critical thinking, Collaboration, Cooperation and Creativity). We believe that this will help them both in school and later life. We usually work from 11AM until 8PM.

― Could you give us a particular example of a class activity at Kids Duo? Every month the curriculum team sets a theme, for this month it is “The Body”. For kindergarten class today, their main activity is arts and crafts, so they are going to practice making arms, legs, ears, head and so on. We also try to practice their language skills so after they have created their crafts we will teach them phrases such as: “May I have a hip, please♪” “May I have an arm, please♪” This way they learn the body parts but also a phrase “May I...?” which they can use anywhere.

― Do you usually teach alone or with a partner? If I only have 5 or 6 students in class, I teach alone. For kindergarten, we sometimes have around 20 kids in class and in that case there is also a support teacher in class. Usually there is a native teacher together with a bilingual teacher, who helps kids who are not very confident in using English yet or if they can’t explain what’s wrong with them.

Goal:Enjoyable place for the kids and for the teachers

― What would you say most enjoyable part of your work? Definitely spending time with the kids, I truly love it. When they come here for the first time they can’t say anything but they grow up so fast. Six months later, they can use whole phrases like greetings and introducing themselves and even can write their name! Their parents are saying that the kids also practice at home and the parents have to practice with them.
They are really cute and you can see that they are not afraid to try and raise their hand up, even if they do not know the answer.

― Could you tell us about the atmosphere between the staff? It’s very friendly, everyone gets along with each other. It is really nice to come to work because I know that I am working with a great bunch of teachers. We even hang out after class and talk about our day. Last year during the Golden Week holidays we went to Disney Sea together with the teachers and our school director.

― What are some of your future goals? I am currently a teacher but also a trainer for new recruits. I train the new teachers when they come to the school for the on the job training. My goal here is to make the training as enjoyable as possible for the teachers. I want to give them a lot of ideas for games, classroom management and make their start as a teacher as easy as possible!

― Is there anything you would like to say to potential future Kids Duo teachers? If you love kids, playing with kids and being silly, your days here will be really fun. The laughter and the joy from the kids makes your days go by really quick. You are basically just playing with kids in an English environment. You will also be able to improve your communication skills and learn how to work in the Japanese environment.

Brand Introduction:Kids Duo

Kids Duo has 3 Main Elements:
  • Culture: Western and Japanese
  • Environment: Creating a second home for students
  • Development: Physical and Intellectual

Provides a safe, secure and immersive afterschool environment in which children can acquire English skills through immersion and play.
Beyond building academic skills, students are exposed to different cultures and ways of thinking through fun and engaging activities.

Teaching Method & Responsibilities
  • Lead and support hands-on, interactive English programs in a Pre-School / After-School Care environment.
  • Program types include Arts & Craft, Music & Dance, Science, Social Studies, and Teachers Choice; all conducted in 100% English to encourage and facilitate a risk-free English immersion environment focused on usable conversation skills.
  • Ages range primarily from 3-12, with varying class sizes & English levels. Expect to conduct activities with both large and small groups (sometimes as many as 30 or more students).
  • Model proper behavior and life skills, play with students, help with school events, field trips, seasonal events, etc.
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